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Onsite, In-Person, and Real: Integrating Behavioral Health at the Primary Care Practice You Trust
By Steve Biljan and Erik Osland, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs
Let’s face it: it’s unbelievably challenging to find a therapist in America. With wait times averaging six weeks, many people in need simply can’t connect to help quickly enough nor can they easily find who or where to turn to.
Online therapy services saw a meteoric rise during the pandemic to meet this demand. For example, in 2020 BetterHelp saw a 60% increase in downloads in the U.S. from January to April. However, therapists have recently cast the “largest online therapy provider” in negative light for using information of therapists not affiliated with the service.
Essentially, therapists on TikTok claimed that people have found therapists on a service called CareDash. Users are then redirected to BetterHelp’s website and told the chosen therapist is not available, but BetterHelp then recommends other therapists on their platform. Reports of issues with therapist privacy, pricing inequity, poor user experience, and more have surfaced as well.
This raises many questions, but most importantly: what should people look for when seeking life-changing, and potentially lifesaving, services? We believe they should begin right where they receive their physical health services.
Onsite, In-Person, and Real
While online therapy services have spurred innovation and play a significant role in helping patients overcome barriers to access, it’s only part of the solution for tackling the mental health crisis in America.
In 2017, we founded evolvedMD to disrupt a broken healthcare system. Anchored by a mission to reimagine behavioral health for all, we’ve effectively increased access to critical services and helped patients receive comprehensive, whole-body care. How? By meeting patients where they’re most comfortable: at the primary care practices they trust.
Integrating behavioral health where patients see their primary care physician takes the guesswork out of finding services in the community or online:
- You can schedule your first appointment almost immediately
- There’s no question of whether insurance will cover it as it’s billed under your physician
- You can receive comprehensive, high-quality care that addresses physical and mental health
- There’s no worry about whether you’ll receive care at all – your therapist is right there in the same building as your doctor
Not only is our model clinically validated, but we have tangible evidence of increasing access to care and overall patient satisfaction with services. While we strongly advocate for an in-person approach, we still meet patients where they are to provide impactful mental health services, including virtual if preferred. Either way, there is still no question who they’re receiving services from – a licensed therapist embedded within the primary care practice they trust.
If you wish to see a therapist at the primary care practice you trust, talk to your provider and request they integrate behavioral health services today.